Shrewsbury Town seal passage to the Second Round of the FA Cup thanks to a second half goal from Dave Edwards.
As Wales were plotting their path to Euro 2020, Dave Edwards, a squad member at the tournament in 2016, was making his mark over 240 miles away from Cardiff.
The former Wolves midfielder scored the game’s only goal in the 66th minute in Yorkshire, with Wales’ 2-0 victory over Hungary giving the Pontesbury man a double reason to celebrate.
But his ex-international teammate Sam Ricketts and his now boss, elected to hand Edwards a place on the bench. Town made two changes from the side that featured in the original tie, with Ro Shaun-Williams and Brad Walker replacing Aaron Pierre and Sean Goss. Max O’Leary was back on the bench following his recent ankle problem.
Despite being a league above their opponents, Shrewsbury were actually slight underdogs heading into the contest. Neither side played at the weekend owing to international call-ups, and there was a feeling this contest would not produce the seven goals it did the last time these sides met at Utilita Energy Stadium – or Valley Parade for the football traditionalists.
Town were on the wrong end of that result, and there appeared to be a keenness to rectify matters. Scott Golbourne fed Jason Cummings and his shot was blocked by Callum Cooke. Brad Walker blazed the rebound over the crossbar.
At the other end, Bradford were creating chances of their own. Ben Richards-Everton couldn’t find the target with his header, whilst former Huddersfield striker James Vaughan was denied by a brave block.
In the 24th minute, Gary Bowyer’s side had a wonderful opportunity to break the deadlock. Dylan Connolly skimmed past Scott Golbourne, and teed up Hope Akpan. The ex Blackburn midfielder was thwarted by a tremendous Joe Murphy stop, whilst Ro Shaun-Williams arrived on the scene to block Vaughan’s goal bound effort.
Town’s best chance of the half arrived some 12 minutes later. Shaun Whalley’s turn of pace culminated in a low effort that narrowly missed the target. Donald Love’s tame header was easily gathered by Richard O’Donnell as both sides went into the break level.
The home side began the second period well. Aramide Oteh, who netted the opener in the original tie, intercepted Ro Shaun-Williams’ pass. He guided the ball toward Dylan Connolly but a poor first touch allowed Golbourne to clear his lines.
Shrewsbury’s defenders continued to nullify the Bantams attack. Connor Wood’s cross was powered to safety by Omar Beckles, and Cooke blasted well wide.
Shrewsbury’s response was a Shaun Whalley free-kick that was dealt with by Richard O’Donnell. However, the former Walsall keeper had to pick the ball out of the back of the net in the 66th minute. Donald Love evaded his marker and sent a cross into the danger area. ‘Deadly Dave’ arrived on the scene with a trademark run and finish to put Town ahead.
The top-scorer in League Two so far this campaign is Eoin Doyle with 16 goals. The Irishman is a Bradford City player; the problem however for Bantams fans is Doyle has scored those goals in a Swindon shirt whilst on loan at the County Ground. James Vaughan was attempting to ensure his strike partner was not missed too much by the home faithful, but his header lacked the direction to trouble Joe Murphy.
And despite the endeavours of Bradford’s players in the closing stages, Shrewsbury held on for the win. Their reward is a tie against Mansfield. However, Shrewsbury’s focus will be on Saturday’s home game against Bristol Rovers, whilst Bradford make the journey to Plymouth.
Attendance: 3,888 (172 Town fans)
Team Line Ups
Bradford City: (4-4-2)
1. O’Donnell, 7. Pritchard (77), 6. A. O’Connor, 5. Richards-Everton, 25. Oteh (77), 19. Connolly, 26. Cooke, 22. Henley, 23. Wood, 12. Vaughan, 21. Akpan (85)
Subs: 2. Mellor (77), 4. P. O’Connor, 8. Reeves, 11. Ismail (85), 18. Anderson, 24. Devine (77), 30. Sykes-Kenworthy
Subs Not Used: 4. P. O’Connor, 8. Reeves, 18. Anderson, 30. Sykes-Kenworthy
Shrewsbury Town: (4-4-2)
1. Murphy, 24. Ebanks-Landell, 5. Williams, 6. Beckles, 3. Golbourne, 7. Whalley (87), 28. Laurent, 15. Walker (54), 8. Norburn, 17. Love, 35. Cummings (68)
Subs: 2. Pierre, 4. Edwards (54), 10. Okenabirhie (68), 11. Giles, 14. John-Lewis, 21. Thompson (87), 25. O’Leary
Subs Not Used: 2. Pierre, 11. Giles, 14. John-Lewis, 25. O’Leary
Other FA Cup Round One Replay Results:
At the time of writing:
Bromley 0 – 1 Bristol Rovers
Burton 4 – 1 Salford
Doncaster 2 – 0 AFC Wimbledon
Eastleigh 3 – 0 Stourbridge
Exeter 1 – 0 Cambridge
Gillingham 1 – 0 Sunderland
Peterborough 2 – 0 Stevenage
Rochdale 1 – 0 Wrexham
Swindon 0 – 1 Cheltenham